Mullins now just two wins short of record
PATRICK MULLINS edged closer to making history as victory aboard the impressive Mozoltov at Gowran Park left him just three away from breaking the record for the number of winners in a calendar year for an amateur rider.
Although out of luck on his first ride aboard Upazo, the talented jockey chalked up his 70th winner of the year an hour later, as smart bumper horse Mozoltov won as a 1/4 favourite should when scoring by 24 lengths in the Students Day Maiden Hurdle.
The winning trainer, Patrick's father Willie, said: "He jumped well but he was a bit keen. He'll go for a novice now, probably after Christmas. He's a big horse but he'd go over any trip. Hopefully he'll win more hurdles, but he has the makings of a chaser."
Mozoltov was cut to 20/1 from 25s for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham by Stan James.
That was as good as the day got for Mullins, however, as Champagne Agent was a disappointing favourite in the Racing Club Maiden Hurdle, which was won by 33/1 chance Dante Anna, and Super Mix finished second to 25/1 shot Kick On Boss in the bumper.
Mullins is now two winners behind Billy Parkinson, who rode 72 in a year as an amateur in 1915, and looks sure to surpass that number if he stays injury-free.
Mullins and Upazo had to make do with the runner-up spot in the Thyestes Maiden Hurdle as fellow 5/4 joint-favourite Umpact made a most impressive Irish debut.
The Tony Martin-trained French bumper winner eased clear of his main rival under Davy Russell and passed the post five and a half lengths to the good.
Martin said: "He's a nice horse and he'd shown us that at home. He's a good prospect. He won a schooling race in Thurles but how good, or what he is, we don't know yet.
"This is nothing to get carried away about and I'm not making any big plans. We'll see in a fortnight where to go next, but I doubt he'll run at Christmas time."
Pat Flynn has Cheltenham ambitions for South South West (4/1) after he got back on the winning trail in the 3-Y-O Hurdle under Andrew McNamara.
Flynn said: "It's good to get another winner. He's a nice horse, but at home you'd think nothing of him.
"We're half aiming him at the Fred Winter (at Cheltenham) and he'll need all that jumping experience if he goes there. A Grade Two at Leopardstown over Christmas is a possibility now."